Friday, October 12, 2012

A Satisfying Day

We had a mild storm come through that lowered the temperatures enough for me to make some progress outdoors.  My husband and I are planning a hike on Silly Mountain at some point here.  Start with the short and sweet.

I was having a decent toe day after all the swelling went down and I could feel the bones rattling around under the skin.  Gross.  After cleaning ALL THE MANURE out of the barn and paddock (something unheard of in the summer heat), I still had the energy to take a horse for a walk, so I suggested that my husband come with me and help get Bombay through the state land gate.  I lead the horse with a riding crop for backup, and my husband just walks casually behind putting pressure on the horse to keep moving.

Bombay puffed himself up to what felt like 16 hands high when the mares began their screaming because he was too far away.  His chest was out, his neck and tail arched, legs stiff and straight, ears stretched forward...  He was stunning.  I said, "Boy, Bombay.  If you could stand like that in a halter class at a show, you'd get yourself a blue ribbon."

(I didn't have my camera.  The picture above is of the other morning when he was bullying me around, trying to get me to stop taking pictures and bring him his breakfast.)

Unfortunately, all his pompousness wasn't helping with the walk out to the trails.  He kept spinning around to look back at the girls.  I got him to the end of the driveway and a big duelly diesel truck drove past just a couple of feet from us and he didn't pay any attention to it.  We got across the street, and had to battle him a bit to get him to pay attention to the gate.

When I led Lostine through it the first time, she tried to go around it and almost ran into the wire fencing.  I didn't want Bombay to make the same mistake, so we got his attention forward and made him watch while I stepped over the tire guard through the gate, and he just hopped right on over.  Once we got onto the public trails, he completely forgot about the mares, relaxed nicely, and we were able to hike about a half mile on a loose lead.

I was trying to teach him to stay away from the cacti by pointing at it and saying, "No, no.  Bad."

Apparently, he understood because each time we came upon another cactus, he jumped sideways away from it.  Oops.  I guess I should have kept my mouth shut.  My fear is that he'll hear something behind him, spin around, and slam his hind end into a saguaro.  That would be bad -- very, very bad.

After returning from our hike, I raked a ton more rocks out of the paddock, which is always a satisfying task.  Someone asked where I put them all.  We still have two more acres that we're not using, so we just pile them there.  Someday when we have more money, we'll get someone in to grade the rest of the land and install another riding arena.

It was getting dark by the time I finished, and on my way up the driveway into the house I stumbled upon a diamondback snake.  It was stretched out and seemed a bit wimpy to be a rattler.  I couldn't tell if it had a rattle, but didn't want to get close enough to find out, so I climbed over the wall to get back into the house.  I got a flashlight to try to get a closer look at the snake, but they then my husband had approached it and assessed that it was just a gopher snake.  It slithered into the rock wall because it was scared of us.  A snake scared of us for a change.  I like that.

3 comments:

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Sounds like a satisfying day: cooler temps, lots of work accomplished, Bombay learning to relax out on the trails, and a snake that wasn't out to get you :)

~Lisa

Christine said...

Indeed that does sound lovely! Productive and cooler :)

achieve1dream said...

Yay Bombay! What a trooper!